The making of Dota 2's Aegis of Champions, plus premium WETA replicas
The Dota 2 team have detailed of process of building the Aegis of Champions - the massive trophy and functioning shield* given out at the end of this year's International tournament - in conjunction with master propbuilders WETA.
The shield is made of bronze, leather and electroplated silver and features the Dota 2 symbol surrounded by a Radiant and Dire Yin and Yang style motif. An area on the back is reserved for the names of International champions, currently Chinese team Invictus Gaming.
WETA are also taking preorders for a range of premium Dota 2 props. Vanguard and the Demon Edge Sword are a whopping $299 each, and you can pick up a Butterfly or a statue of Axe for only $249 a piece.
It's notable (ish) that Butterfly is the cheapest real-life weapon, as it costs a hefty 6000 gold in the game itself. Vanguard is only 2225, for heaven's sake - and who doesn't already have a stout shield and a ring of health lying around? Demon Edge will cost you 2400 gold all in one go, but really it's just a stepping stone on the way to a Daedalus.
Basically, I'm saying that if you're in the market for a massive urethane sword, then Butterfly is the best value proposition. Also, that 35% evasion chance could come in handy when crossing the road.**
* I am perfectly happy to take Gabe Newell at his word in this regard.
** Please under no circumstances attempt this.